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Giving back to enrich your life

Desire alone shouldn’t be the sole force that drives a planned gift
January 15, 2016
By Silvia Ugolini

Francis of Assisi, the 12th century friar, famously said it’s in giving that we receive. What a noble concept. As a planned giving professional, I often see this maxim played out.

Silvia Ugolini Silvia Ugolini

Yet over the past decade, fewer Canadians have been giving to charity. Those who are giving are donating less, according to a 2013 Fraser Institute study.

How many of us have asked ourselves at some point in our lives: “How can I give back to my community?”

A planned gift might be the answer.

A planned gift allows you to make a meaningful donation that’s tailored to your financial and charitable goals. If you contemplate making a gift, there’s invariably a fundamental desire to make a difference.

Desire alone shouldn’t be the sole force that drives a planned gift. Affordability is crucial.

I advise Concordians and other friends to ask themselves probing questions before they consider a planned gift:

  • “Is my family taken care of?”
  • “What are my objectives?”
  • “Will my actions — or inaction — leave tax dollars on the table?”

Mostly, I listen to people. They have queries and preoccupations. They may overlook philanthropic possibilities or ways to achieve tax benefits. I advise them that there are many giving vehicles.

It’s important to give prudently. I had a person who wanted to donate monies from his retirement income fund. I advised him to seek independent advice as to whether he could afford to do so if his circumstances changed.

I help people ask the right questions — financial, economic and legal — because a planned gift will enable them to make a more significant contribution than they thought possible.

That advice is always well received.


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